Diversity at SSFS

SSFS All-School Diversity Statement:
Sandy Spring Friends School embraces the values of the Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers. Quaker values are grounded in the belief that there is that of God in everyone. This belief – along with the continuous quest to seek the truth – is central to the understanding that diversity of thought, identity and experience is essential to academic excellence, personal growth and spiritual development. Our School is committed to fostering a diverse community of students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees and families who accept, appreciate and respect each individual’s uniqueness.


We are so excited to welcome author Selina Alko and her co-illustrator husband Sean Qualls to the Sandy Spring Friends School campus on Friday, September 22. They are the creators of the Lower School summer read, A Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage, which is a story dear to their hearts and lives. They will spend time in various LS and MS classrooms and present an assembly to grades 1-5. We have found that there are few things that speak more strongly to our students' creativity than real-world artists and authors. The inspiring story of the Loving family is one we should all know about and celebrate, and Selina and Sean will help us do that. Continuing the celebration, note that we will have another author visit on October 2, when Patricia Hruby Powell will be on campus and working with US and MS students. Her book Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case, is our 2017 all school read.
Loving vs. Virginia The Case for Loving

MS Student Diversity Committee Posters

As a final project of the 2016-2017 school year, students of the Middle School Student Diversity Committee crafted unique and inspiring posters to be displayed throughout the Middle School in stairwells, hallways, and classrooms. Members of the student committee (Mia Vasco, Peace Fasalojo, Shuayb Oweis, Armaan Boparai, and Jordan Carpenter) created and designed each poster to inspire students to celebrate their cultures, explore their roots, and be proud of what makes them unique. After a successful year of student run diversity activities--such as "Music of Our Cultures," a weekly diverse music sharing at recess organized by the committee--the MS Student Diversity Committee is proud of their work on these final posters, and they look forward to inspiring the MS community again next year!

Through the collaborative coordination and outreach between Upper School English teacher and intern coordinator Ariel Voorhees and the Middle School Spanish teacher Ligia Gorton, one section of 8th grade Spanish had the wonderful opportunity to have a senior intern, Jordi Martinez '17, in their MS Spanish class. Jordi became part of the section at the beginning of the year, from becoming a friendly observer, to stepping in to participate in interactive games, and becoming an active intern in the MS Spanish class. Throughout this year, Jordi helped lead games, created stories, led warm-ups, read and created reading comprehension activities, taught and led several reviews, guided grammar explanations, helped create a Christmas Scavenger hunt, participated in several cultural activities, sang along with students, played soccer, and corrected drafts. Undoubtedly, Jordi brought to this section his nice, kind, playful and calm personality while helping to enrich our diversity experiences in class discussions. This section of 8th grade and Ligia could have not had a better year working and learning from each other. It was a fulfilling experience for all. We wish Jordi the best to come as he embraces his new college career.

Youth Peace Conference: May 13

May 13 marks the second annual Youth Peace Conference held on the SSFS campus! YPC is an annual student-led and student-attended event sponsored by the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting, focusing on how prejudice and otherization prevent peace. With this year's theme, "Intersectionality of 'Isms,'" participants will explore the root causes and impacts of systems of discrimination in our society, such as racism, sexism, ableism, and homophobia, among others. Students from grades 8-12 are invited to attend and will receive 6 community service hours as an added bonus. Registration deadline is May 10, 2017!

The schedule for the upcoming conference features keynote speaker Dr. Kumea Shorter-Gooden, the former diversity officer at UMD and one of two girls to integrate the Madeira school in the 1960's. The conference schedule also includes workshops by local social justice organizations and student leaders from partnering schools (Sherwood, Blake, and Good Counsel High Schools, and the Muslim Community Center).

The registration link for the conference can be found here.

Diverse student perspectives are central to YPC, and sharing your perspective through a workshops is an opportunity to get even more involved! Students leading workshops can directly share their experiences and speak out on a system of discrimination that affects them--and get extra service hours in the process. Guidelines and sign-ups can be found here.

With any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to student organizers Marzi and Samaa.

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